Jefferson County Schools To Go Virtual-Only For First Nine Weeks; Start Sept. 1

 ========= Old Image Removed =========Array
(
    [_wp_attached_file] => Array
        (
            [0] => 2020/08/IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816.jpg
        )

    [_wp_attachment_metadata] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:6:{s:5:"width";i:2560;s:6:"height";i:1440;s:4:"file";s:42:"2020/08/IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816.jpg";s:5:"sizes";a:14:{s:6:"medium";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-336x189.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:189;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:5:"large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-771x434.jpg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:434;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:12:"medium_large";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-768x432.jpg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:432;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"1536x1536";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:43:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-1536x864.jpg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:864;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"2048x2048";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:44:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-2048x1152.jpg";s:5:"width";i:2048;s:6:"height";i:1152;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:9:"wbhm-icon";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:40:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:13:"wbhm-featured";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-600x338.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:20:"wbhm-featured-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-home";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-553x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:553;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:22:"wbhm-featured-carousel";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-470x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:470;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:28:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-600x400.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"ab-block-post-grid-square";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"post-thumbnail";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:42:"IMG_6564-scaled-e1596651289816-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}s:10:"image_meta";a:12:{s:8:"aperture";s:1:"0";s:6:"credit";s:0:"";s:6:"camera";s:0:"";s:7:"caption";s:0:"";s:17:"created_timestamp";s:1:"0";s:9:"copyright";s:0:"";s:12:"focal_length";s:1:"0";s:3:"iso";s:1:"0";s:13:"shutter_speed";s:1:"0";s:5:"title";s:0:"";s:11:"orientation";s:1:"0";s:8:"keywords";a:0:{}}s:14:"original_image";s:12:"IMG_6564.jpg";}
        )

    [_media_credit] => Array
        (
            [0] => Miranda Fulmore
        )

    [_navis_media_credit_org] => Array
        (
            [0] => WBHM
        )

    [_navis_media_can_distribute] => Array
        (
            [0] => 
        )

    [_wp_attachment_backup_sizes] => Array
        (
            [0] => a:15:{s:9:"full-orig";a:3:{s:5:"width";i:2560;s:6:"height";i:1920;s:4:"file";s:19:"IMG_6564-scaled.jpg";}s:14:"thumbnail-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-140x140.jpg";s:5:"width";i:140;s:6:"height";i:140;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:11:"medium-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-336x252.jpg";s:5:"width";i:336;s:6:"height";i:252;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:17:"medium_large-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-768x576.jpg";s:5:"width";i:768;s:6:"height";i:576;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:10:"large-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-771x578.jpg";s:5:"width";i:771;s:6:"height";i:578;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"1536x1536-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_6564-1536x1152.jpg";s:5:"width";i:1536;s:6:"height";i:1152;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"2048x2048-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:22:"IMG_6564-2048x1536.jpg";s:5:"width";i:2048;s:6:"height";i:1536;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:14:"wbhm-icon-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:18:"IMG_6564-80x80.jpg";s:5:"width";i:80;s:6:"height";i:80;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:18:"wbhm-featured-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-600x338.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:338;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:25:"wbhm-featured-square-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:23:"wbhm-featured-home-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-415x311.jpg";s:5:"width";i:415;s:6:"height";i:311;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:27:"wbhm-featured-carousel-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-353x265.jpg";s:5:"width";i:353;s:6:"height";i:265;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:33:"ab-block-post-grid-landscape-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-600x400.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:400;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:30:"ab-block-post-grid-square-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-600x600.jpg";s:5:"width";i:600;s:6:"height";i:600;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}s:19:"post-thumbnail-orig";a:4:{s:4:"file";s:20:"IMG_6564-125x125.jpg";s:5:"width";i:125;s:6:"height";i:125;s:9:"mime-type";s:10:"image/jpeg";}}
        )

)
1622053213 
1596555070

The Jefferson County Board of Education voted Tuesday to begin the 2020-2021 school year with nine weeks of online education only and no option for traditional classroom learning.

The recommendation came from Superintendent Walter Gonsoulin after weeks of town hall meetings with parents, faculty, staff and other stakeholders, as well as an online survey in which Gonsoulin said 80% of JefCoEd families responded. In that survey, 56% were in favor of online learning and 44% favored traditional face-to-face classroom learning.

The board approved the recommendation by a 4-1 vote in Tuesday’s online meeting. Board President Ronnie Dixon cast the lone vote against.

“We are not exhibiting the leadership we need given our system’s size,” Dixon said in a discussion before the vote. “Other systems are being more resourceful in bringing kids to school. Everyone has asked for options. I don’t understand why options for remote learning aren’t available.

“I think we are taking for granted the unintended consequences by saying for nine weeks that we are going to take it easy and stay home,” Dixon added.

In a written statement issued by the system just after the meeting, Gonsoulin said, “We have outlined this possibility since we started talking about this coming school year. However, I know hearing the news is still unsettling. Some of you might even be mad at me right now. I know you have to figure out things like child care and that this decision might add to your financial strain when times are already tough. I am truly sorry for that burden. However, I cannot justify sending children or employees back to school right now. It would put them in harm’s way. The number of COVID-19 cases in our area is simply too high.”

The plan also includes a provision to move the starting date of the school year a week later to Sept. 1, to give school workers more time to complete preparations for the new year and to complete construction projects at three middle schools. The delay will not force moving the ending date of the school year, Gonsoulin said, as the Alabama State Department of Education has reduced the required number of teaching days from 175 to 170.

 

Birmingham-Southern baseball team vies for an NCAA title as the school prepares to close

When Coach Jan Weisberg called the Birmingham-Southern College baseball team to an impromptu meeting on March 27, players were confused. They gathered together in the locker room and found out the news – BSC would close on May 31.

EPA formally denies Alabama’s plan for coal ash waste

The federal agency says the state’s plan was not as protective as federal standards, allowing toxic waste to remain in unlined pits that may contaminate groundwater. Alabama officials say they will appeal.

Here’s what you said were the hidden gems in Walker County

There are things we notice about where we live that others might miss. That might be a hidden gem or other surprise. We set out to discover a few of them in Walker County at our recent News and Brews community pop-up.

After years of increases, Jefferson County sees a decline in overdose fatalities

Following years of record-breaking increases, Jefferson County is finally seeing a decline in overdose fatalities. We talk to local officials to better understand the reasons for the drop, and if it’s a sign of a longer-term trend.

Alabama district attorney says ‘justice demands’ new trial for death row inmate

Jefferson County District Attorney Danny Carr filed a brief expressing his support for Toforest Johnson’s bid to receive a new trial. Carr has supported a new trial since 2020, but the latest filing detailed the findings of a post-conviction review of the case.

After decisive loss at Alabama Mercedes plants, powerful auto union vows to return and win

Newly elected UAW President Shawn Fain said the union will return to Mercedes and will press on with efforts to organize about 150,000 workers at more than a dozen auto factories across the nation.

More BirminghamWatch Coverage